Wellness Teams Receive Health Hero Award

City of Great Falls wellness teams have received a 2014 Montana Health Hero Award from the Eat Right Montana Coalition/Action for Healthy Kids Team. This is a new award designed to recognize individuals or programs that have gone beyond the requirements of a job or worked hard to promote healthy nutrition and/or physical activity. This award demonstrates the city’s commitment to healthy lifestyle promotion for their employees.

Since 2009, the City of Great Falls Civic Center, Library, Public Works, Park and Rec, and Police Departments have been working with Penny Paul, City-County Health Department Community Health Education Specialist, to implement worksite wellness programs through the Montana Cancer Control Programs (MCCP). Paul uses the Wellness Council of America’s (WELCOA) proven “Seven Benchmarks of Successful Worksite Wellness Programs” to sustain the programs’ activities. “We have senior level support and passionate, engaged, and creative individuals on the wellness teams,” Paul says. “These teams have made great strides in implementing health promotion at their sites.” According to WELCOA, the typical employee will experience more than 250 unhealthy messages in a single day. “The City of Great Falls wellness teams know by reminding employees to make healthy choices every day, they can substantially increase the likelihood individuals will adopt healthier lifestyles,” Paul continues.

penny paul and rene kempa

Penny Paul, CCHD Health Education Specialist, and Rene Kempa, representing the City of Great Falls wellness teams

The Health Hero award ceremony was held in Bozeman on October 24, 2014. Rene Kempa, employee with the City of Great Falls and member of the Civic Center wellness team, received the award on behalf of the City of Great Falls.